don dale youth detention centre

Don Dale Youth Detention Centre

History of Don Dale Youth Detention Centre

The Construction of Don Dale

Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, located in Berrimah, Northern Territory, Australia, was constructed to serve as a facility for young offenders. With its establishment, it was expected to promote rehabilitation over punishment.

Notable Incidents

Over the years, numerous incidents have taken place in Don Dale, gaining national attention and raising serious questions about the treatment of young inmates.

Controversies and Scandals

The Tear Gas Incident

One of the most infamous incidents at Don Dale occurred in 2014 when six boys were tear-gassed by the guards. The event sparked nationwide outrage and raised concerns about the state of youth detention in Australia.

Allegations of Misconduct

Other controversies, including allegations of physical and mental abuse, further amplified the public outcry against the centre’s management and the system at large.

Public Reaction and Protests

National Response

The Australian public reacted strongly to the revelations about Don Dale. Numerous protests took place, with advocates demanding justice for the abused youth and significant reform in the juvenile justice system.

See also  Numinbah Correctional Centre

International Response

The situation at Don Dale also drew attention from international human rights organizations, with calls for investigations into the allegations of mistreatment.

Governmental Response and Investigation

The Royal Commission

In response to the scandal, the Australian Government established a Royal Commission to investigate youth detention and child protection in the Northern Territory.

Reform Efforts

The Royal Commission recommended several changes, which led to various reforms, both in Don Dale and the wider youth justice system in the Northern Territory.

Current Status of Don Dale

Reforms and Improvement Measures

Post the inquiry, several reforms were instituted in an attempt to improve conditions and treatment of the detained youth. These measures aimed at focusing more on rehabilitation rather than punitive actions.

Current Challenges and Critiques

Despite the reforms, criticisms persist about the current state of Don Dale. Some argue that further improvements are still needed to ensure the rights and wellbeing of the detainees are adequately protected.

Future of Don Dale

Potential Paths Forward

Looking towards the future, experts and advocates are proposing various solutions, such as increasing focus on community-based interventions and reducing the number of children in detention.

Expert Recommendations

Prevention Strategies

Experts recommend prevention strategies that include early intervention and addressing social determinants of crime, such as education and family support.

Rehabilitation Efforts

Another approach is to strengthen the rehabilitation efforts for those in detention to ensure they are better prepared to reintegrate into society once released.


The Don Dale Youth Detention Centre’s history is marred with controversies and scandals, leading to nationwide discussions about juvenile justice. While steps have been taken towards improvement, the path towards a more humane and effective system is ongoing.

See also  Alice Springs Correctional Centre


  1. What is the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre? Don Dale Youth Detention Centre is a facility for juvenile offenders located in Berrimah, Northern Territory, Australia.
  2. What were some of the controversies at Don Dale? Notable controversies include the 2014 tear gas incident and various allegations of physical and mental abuse against the inmates.
  3. How did the Australian Government respond to these issues? The government established a Royal Commission to investigate the incidents and recommend changes to the youth justice system.
  4. What changes have been made at Don Dale since the Royal Commission? Several reforms have been made, including improvements to conditions and a greater focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment.
  5. What is the future of Don Dale? The future of Don Dale remains uncertain, with ongoing debates about how to best address the issues and improve the juvenile justice system.

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